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The Belief in a Just World: A Fundamental Delusion
Melvin Lerner

A New History of Jazz: Revised and Updated Edition

A New History of Jazz: Revised and Updated Edition - Alyn Shipton This is pretty damn comprehensive and it's also nicely idiosyncratic. Shipton holds many of the traditional views but he also holds some of his own (and he defends these) which are refreshing given the nature of jazz. For example, rightly criticizes critics of things like fusion and free, and he also demonstrates how there have always been people who will put down the new thing, which is interesting given that jazz, to me, is about creating new things. This book is generally awesome and extremely informative. I have learned a ton, both about the history of the music and the music itself. My one qualm is that he doesn't spend enough time (or give enough listening examples) for two subgenres that are of the greatest interest to me: chamber jazz and klezmer jazz. Both are mentioned, but only briefly noted. However, this is a very minor quibble, given that these are specific interests that can hardly be considered of universal appeal. The book has given me a huge amount of listening to do, which is great. It has also opened up the world of swing and bop to me, which I was hesitant to enter beforehand. I haven't read any other histories of jazz as yet, but I think you could do a lot worse than this interesting and informative book.